Network rail public meeting in grange park 1.12.11

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A second public meeting with Network Rail was convened, so that local residents in Grange Park could tell Network Rail that they are deeply unhappy with the replanting of the site at the heart of our local community

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Network rail public meeting in grange park 1.12.11

  1. 1. REPLANTING GRANGE PARKDecember 1st 2011Public Meeting with Network Rail
  2. 2. Introduction This meeting, chaired by David Burrowes MP, was called because local residents in Grange Park are unhappy with the replanting of the site following the completion of work on the embankment b Network Rail. We are not here today to relive the horrors that were inflicted on Grange Park in February, euphemistically referred to as the ‘Great Grange Park Chain Saw Massacre’ but to consider whether Network Rail’s replanting of the site has been adequate recompense for the destruction of hundreds of trees, with a massive impact on the local environment and quality of life, in particular for the residents directly adjacent to the site.
  3. 3. Our Grievances1. The ‘consultation’ exercise was a token gesture, virtually none of the residents’ requests were accommodated into the replanting scheme2. The ‘concessions’ made in the meeting with local residents in September were not adhered to3. The replanting in essence is almost identical to the proposals in February
  4. 4. Local Residents have said: “Residents in Nesta Avenue feel terribly upset with the replanting. We are looking at a mud embankment. Further to this, when we get some substantial rain, we get mud running into our gardens as there was no soak away installed”. “I write this as I look out of my window at a very desolate scene. I was once faced with a lovely view of tree tops and wildlife. All I see now are mud banks with 2 rows of plastic cylinders and of course the trains. Quite unbelievable!“ “I live down Merridene and with all the trees & plants gone its made the area look very down market & very open for everyone to see within our properties”.
  5. 5. Local Residents have said: "I have noticed the puny little plants that have been planted along the embankment in Grange Park and I think Network Rail has really done a very poor job of restoring the site" "totally appalled by planting scheme - what have Network Rail got in their brains?“ “these neat (almost parade-ground) lines of shrubs that Network Rail have planted are a feeble attempt to restore the environment” “What are those God awful triffids that Network Rail have planted on the embankment?”
  6. 6. Presented by Network Rail in February 2011at the Enfield Council Scrutiny CommitteeFull details can be found at www.n21online.com
  7. 7. Our Response to Network RailREPLANTING GRANGE PARK EMBANKMENTSDraft report for Network Rail from the Grange ParkResidents Replanting Committee May 2011
  8. 8. Initial response to Network Rail’s Replanting PlansThe initial planting will be too meagre to provide effectiveacoustic and visual screening from the embankments, especiallyon the West side, which is very close to residential properties.Most of the species proposed by Network Rail are deciduous,so, unless reasonably densely planted, there will little screeningfrom the Autumn through to Spring.We wanted random, natural planting, not straight rows.
  9. 9. David Burrowes meeting with NR Chief Executive Mr. Higgins apologised for the mistakes made in previous months and confirms that going forward, Network Rail will learn from this incident and adapt their community engagement and consultation. He also make assurances that when it comes to replanting, budgets will not be an issue and that there will be full involvement of community groups with the process.
  10. 10. Network Rail’s response (which took three months)Network Rail Revised Planting August 2011
  11. 11. Can we give nature a helping hand?
  12. 12. The Committee would argue thatNetwork Rail did not listen to oursuggestions coming up withvarious reasons as to why theycould not be implemented
  13. 13. Whilst the orchard trees are attractive, there are too few and they do not provide anyscreening for residents
  14. 14. The bare areas covered with weeds on the embankment are of major concern.Where residents used to look out on leafy embankments they are now faced with anugly vista, which will take years to recover unless further remedial work is undertaken
  15. 15. In our September meeting with NR it was agreed that semi mature evergreens wouldbe planted along the Green Dragon Lane fence. Having been told by Network Rail thatplanting was completed, it was announced at the meeting that these plants have nowbeen ordered.
  16. 16. We had agreed that bulbs would be planted n this corner by local school children. In themeeting residents expressed a strong desire to have native oaks planted here, wellaway from the embankment - a memorial to the lost oaks felled by Network Rail?
  17. 17. We had expected to have laurels planted along the Vera Avenue fence, NR say thatthey have now been ordered. We were delighted to see these trees on the steepembankment, but none have been planted where they are most needed, to providesome screening for residents living in Nesta Avenue, Deepdene Court and Merridene.
  18. 18. The committee had understood that trees could not be planted at this level, so we weredelighted when planting began. However, there are not enough of them and they do little o screen the line from residents’ homes, which are in very close proximity to the site.
  19. 19. Network Rail admitted that the current planting scheme will take a generation toprovide any effective screen for residents in Merridene
  20. 20. WHERE ARE THE EVERGREENS?We would like Network Rail to consider planting many more evergreens across thesite, such as laurel, shown here by Grange Park station, which is fast growing anddense
  21. 21. MEMORIES OF A VERDANT, GREEN GRANGE PARK –we didn’t appreciate it until it was gone!
  22. 22. We would to remind Network Rail that they have removed hundreds of trees from thesite, many of them mature oaks and other broad leaf trees
  23. 23. Views from the floorResidents in the packed Church, reiterated the sentimentsexpressed by the local residents replanting committee that thereplanting has been woefully inadequate and that once again,Network Rail has failed to consult and listen to the views oflocal residents.It is not just the loss of this natural habitat at the heart of ourcommunity which deeply concerns us, but also the lack ofconsideration for the residents bordering the railway line.Whilst Network Rail would like to wait a year to see how thesite matures, it is feasible to plant more trees over the next fewmonths, up to March and we would like you to consider doingmore in this planting season.
  24. 24. Summing up by David Burrowes “I was pleased to arrange a second public meeting about the Grange Park embankment. The attendance of senior representatives of Network Rail reflected the seriousness of the impact on the local community. We were able to get into the detail of replanting plans and establish that we have not reached the end of the line but there is a long way to mitigate the damage of the loss of trees. We have a commitment of more trees before March and a review within 12 months to establish whether more trees are required. I will continue to hold Network Rail to account over the next 12 months”.
  25. 25. Network Rail it is your land – but all railway embankments are deemed to be wildlife corridors.Surely the technological problems ofreplanting the embankments are not intractable?
  26. 26. More information of theGrange Park Embankmentcampaign can be found at www.n21online.com

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